We all know the familiar verse regarding Jesus birth. We say it and sing it at Christmastime every year. I grinned listening to Linus recite the Christmas Story this week on the ever-so-annual Charlie Brown Christmas special.
This Christmas God has been reminding me that I need to personalize the object of that familiar sentence, and meditate on the rest of the passage in the same way….
For unto ME, a child was born. For ME, a son is given. And the government shall be upon His shoulders; and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace.
As I get a few precious minutes to sit quietly alone with God I am quickly overcome with the notion that Jesus was born on Christmas FOR ME. He was given (sacrificed), by God, as payment for MY sin. This little child Whom we celebrate this time of year – chose to leave the majesty and splendor of heaven, take on the frailty of human flesh, and die an excruciatingly cruel death – just for ME.
Babies are dependent on their moms for nourishment, warmth and love. They have messy pants; they spit up stuff; have to be taught to walk and talk, and pretty much everything else. Jesus was no exception. He went through puberty, popped zits, smiled at girls, didn’t like spinach (made that one up), and upset his parents……. just so he could do three primary things:
1. Become the blameless “lamb” that had to be sacrificed for MY sin, and offer ME eternal life and fellowship with God (the way it was intended to be in the first place) if I will accept His sacrificial gift.
2. Show me how to live a life completely dependent on the Father. Jesus had no super powers, but said he only did/said what he saw the Father doing/saying. John 15:5 tells me I can do nothing without Him. That’s why He was desperate to spend time with God every day, and throughout each day – he needed Him too.
3. Reestablish the opportunity for me to walk and talk with Him on a moment-by-moment basis, as it was in Eden. Adam partnered with God in every aspect of his life. He and God hung out, every day. We were created to walk with God and enjoy His company, wisdom, love and leadership – every moment of every day. Jesus’ death reopened the gates of Eden (God’s intimate presence) which were closed after the Fall. We don’t have to wait for heaven to once again walk in close fellowship with God.
So, as I reflect on the “Unto us” passage this season, I am personally reminded that He came here for ME. He is my wonderful counselor when I ask for wisdom and guidance. He is mighty God, when I need His strength and might in the midst of my tough situation. He is my everlasting Father when I need a father’s love, advice, friendship and mentoring. And He is my prince of peace in the midst of my hectic life and times of anxiety and stress.
What a wonderful notion. For unto us (me, you) a child was born. Unto us (me, you) a Son was given.
Draw near to the baby in the manger this year and spend a few minutes thanking Him for such a magnificent, loving and personal gift.